SYDNEY - Celebrity chef Heston Blumenthal's The Fat Duck restaurant will close its doors in Britain and relocate to Australia for six months in 2015, Melbourne's Crown resort said Monday.
The famed Michelin three-starred restaurant in Bray, west of London, will spend half of the year in Australia's second-biggest city before returning to its home in Britain.
Blumenthal, who will bring the entire Fat Duck team with him to Australia, described the move as an "incredible opportunity" to remain open while the British restaurant undergoes renovations.
"The Fat Duck is part of a Grade II listed building, so I always knew there would come a time when it would need a little attention and the building itself would require a bit of modernisation - after all, it was built in 1640," he said in a statement.
"I just couldn't bear the thought of closing for an extended period, though. I couldn't have asked for a better outcome." Blumenthal said he fell in love with Australia during his first visit in 2003, and he is well known Down Under due to his television appearances.
"From that very first moment, the idea took root - someday I wanted to have a restaurant there," he said.
While relocated in the casino complex in Melbourne, The Fat Duck building in Bray will have its interiors modernised and dining room refurbished.
When The Fat Duck returns to Britain, a new restaurant Dinner by Heston Blumenthal will remain in its place in Melbourne.
Blumenthal, along with El Bulli chef Ferran Adria, has rocked the world of gastronomy since the late 1990s by using science to "deconstruct" and rebuild food, both astonishing diners and delighting reviewers.
"The relocation of the coveted restaurant will be a big boost for local tourism, attracting interstate and international guests to Melbourne so they can experience a once in a lifetime dining opportunity," said Crown Resorts chairman James Packer.